Dr. Richard  Hertle

MD, FAAO, FACS, FAAP, (Nystagmus Surgeon)

Dr. Richard Hertle is an pediatric ophthalmologist specialising in Nystagmus surgery in Akron, Ohio and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Akron Children’s Hospital and Summa Health-Akron Campus. He received his medical degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Cataracts. Glaucoma. Retinal disease. These are vision problems usually associated with older adults. Richard W. Hertle, MD, however, sees babies with these conditions every week at Akron Children’s Hospital where he is director of Paediatric Ophthalmology and the new Vision Center.

The Vision Center offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for neonates, infants and children, as well as adults with vision problems unresolved from childhood such as strabismus (crossed eyes). Services include optical, medical, surgical and rehabilitative care.

“There is an age-dependent change in the prevalence of certain eye diseases,” says Dr. Hertle. “In neonates, we generally deal with retinopathy of prematurity, cataracts and congenital glaucoma. In infants, we see severe visual system diseases resulting from developmental abnormalities, metabolic conditions, or systemic diseases such as neurological or infectious diseases and associated syndromes.”

The most prevalent isolated eye diseases that occur in the neonatal-to-early-childhood period, he explains, are strabismus and amblyopia. He also sees 12 to 15 patients a week with nystagmus (rapid, uncontrollable eye movements commonly called ‘dancing eyes’). A former senior scientist with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Eye Institute in Bethesda, MD, Dr. Hertle is a nationally recognized clinician/researcher in eye movement disorders. He is one of a few eye surgeons in the world who routinely performs eye muscle surgery for nystagmus. Recently, he and his team of researchers began testing their own novel topical medication to treat infantile nystagmus.

A licensed optician at the age of 16, Dr. Hertle was not interested in ophthalmology as a career until his third year of medical school when he won a research grant from the Melvin E. Jones Eyebank and Research Foundation. He completed an ophthalmology residency at the Boston University Medical Center, and fellowships at the Cleveland VA Medical Center, the Pacific Medical Center/Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Prior to joining Akron Children’s Hospital in 2011, he was director of Pediatric Ophthalmology at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.




Dr. Ahmed Kheirkhah, MD

Ahmad Kheirkhah, MD Instructor, Harvard Medical School Investigator, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary Dr. Kheirkhah completed his medical education, ophthalmology residency, and fellowship in Cornea and External Disease in Iran. After a 3-year fellowship in Ocular Surface Disease in Miami, Florid, his practice and research have been focused on ocular surface disease and this has resulted in more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters as well as numerous presentations in national and international conferences. Dr. Kheirkhah is currently an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and an Investigator at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts. His research has spanned ocular surface disease, limbal stem cells, dry eye disease, and ocular surface imaging. In addition, his new ideas in collagen cross-linking have led to filing a patent application. Dr. Kheirkhah is a recipient of the Achievement Award from American Academy of Ophthalmology, Scholarship Award from the Eye Foundation of America, Joseph Swiger Scholarship Award, and Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Award. He is an ad hoc reviewer for more than 20 ophthalmology journals.